While on my mission I can be contacted at ashley.lynch@myldsmail.net

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

He Fulfills His Promises

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Instruments In The Hands Of God

This week has been fantastic! As I told you all, I am no longer serving with Sister Clark. BUT I do get to be companions with the amazing Sister Tobler! She is so much fun, has the most contagious laugh and every day is a party. We are working so hard and seeing so many miracles everyday! I am so grateful I get to be a missionary!

We started off this week awesome with a party for Sister Thompson. It was her birthday this week and the ward and all our friends pitched in and planned a surprise party for her. It turned out simply lovely and she definitely deserves it. She is the most selfless person I have ever met and would give everything she had for those she loves, it was so wonderful to see something that was all about her for once. At one point during the night she says "I don't need all of this, I have amazing friends. What more could a girl need?" Such a great perspective, so much humility and so much love. I hope to grow up to be like Sister Thompson :)

We had an awesome week working with members! That is how the REAL missionary work happens. First, we received a referral and all it had was a phone number. It turns out that there was a stake conference recently and everyone attending was invited to think about the people they love most, who they would like to see sitting beside them and have the blessing of having the gospel in their lives. They were invited to send that persons name and their contact information to the missionaries. This was one of those referrals. It was amazing how when we first called this man he actually hung up on us. But when we texted him, explaining our purpose and that we were only calling him because his friend had asked us to, he said he would call us later that evening.  And he did! We had a great conversation and he expressed interest in coming to church! The only reason he opened up to us and even agreed to talk to us was because we used his friend's name. Because of the respect he has for his friend and the love that his friend showed by referring him, he was motivated to listen. That is just so amazing to me. Think of the number of our friends that we can help have an opportunity to hear the gospel by simply allowing the missionaries to use our names when contacting them?
This week we also had a Family Home Evening lesson with a family in our ward. It was so much fun to be with them and we asked if we could come again, they said yes. We then asked if next time they would invite a friend to come participate as well, again they agreed. Now, if simply allowing the missionaries to use your name when contacting one of your friends can open so many doors, image the good that can be done when you personally invite your friends to the missionaries!

It does so much good. The difference you can make is insane. 
I would like to share with you these scriptures that come from Alma 26, my favorite chapter in the Book of Mormon. This is a man named Ammon speaking who is an amazing missionary. The whole chapter is his expression of the joy he feels because he was able to help his brethren, the Lamanites, receive the gospel and become converted to Christ.

"And now, I ask, what great blessings has he bestowed upon us? Can ye tell?
Behold, I answer for you; for our brethren, the Lamanites, were in darkness, yea, even in the darkest abyss, but behold, how many of them are brought to behold the marvelous light of God! And this is the blessing which hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work"

The gospel is the greatest gift I have received in my life. It has brought me so much peace and joy in my life, it has helped me know where I can find hope and direction and has helped me better understand who I truly am. I know that those blessings are universal. Sharing the gospel can really just be giving the greatest gift ever to the people we love most. I know that as we all make the conscious decision to open our mouths, to share what we know to be true and be instruments in God's hands, we can experience that same joy that Ammon describes. 

I hope you all ponder on that and on what you can do to help those you love :) Have a great week and just keep smiling!

Friday, March 9, 2018

I Love Being A Missionary!!!

This week was so great! We were incredibly busy and it was wonderful! We had three exchanges this last week, plus our missionary leadership council which are both things I love about being a Sister Training Leader! So it was a week full of learning and the spirit!

I'm going to start off with some pretty sad news though. Sister Clark will be transferred :( she has become one of my best friends, and I am so grateful that God knew I need her in my life. She is such a special person, so strong, loving, big hearted, funny, nurturing, and just a beautiful person. She has such a strong testimony and is a light to everyone who has the pleasure of interacting with her. She is going to do amazing things wherever she goes, I am sure going to miss her a lot though!

Probably the highlight of the week though was this Monday evening, we just saw so many miracles! We were out a little ways in the country and Sister Clark noticed a place on the map she had never seen before and we felt like we should go. When we get there and got our of our car,  a man was yelling at us from his porch trying to figure out who we were and where we were going. I'd be a little concerned too if two strangers were parked out front on a street that probably doesn't get many visitors. We explained and went on our way. The first person we talked to had met missionaries before and gladly asked us back for a lesson, it was awesome! Then we met his neighbor who was excited to "blow our minds." She told us all about how she has relatives who are members of the church, and her family goes way back. She even named her kids after figures in early church history. She was excited to tell us that she has a Book of Mormon and what she knows about the church. She wasn't interested in learning more right now, but I know our interaction was a very positive one and maybe down the road something will come out if it. 
As we were walking to our car Sister Clark had the impression to knock on the door of the man who yelled at us from his porch. Talk about awkward. But we did it and it turned out to be such a cool experience! He was so nice, and hilarious. He let us know that we have him quite a fright and he actually pulled a gun on us when he was yelling at us, pretty sure he was serious. But he let us right in and we were able to talk with him and his whole family! A FAMILY! It was so awesome! His daughter was excited to show us her children's Bible and was very interested in listening as well as we taught them the Restoration. It was such a sweet experience!

I love being a missionary! I love having the opportunity to teach the restored gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone we meet, to help people know who they truly are, and unite families. Everyday I think "Wow! How great is my calling!" I am so grateful that I have been placed here and given so many wonderful opportunities to share my testimony. I am even more grateful to know that those opportunities will never cease, no matter where I am in life. 

I love you all! Never be afraid to open your mouth, and just keep smiling!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Free To Choose Liberty and Eternal Life

Friday, February 23, 2018

Whithersoever I Will

This week was amazing! I know I say that every week, but it truly was :) We were busy all week with exchanges, and we were blessed to spend a few days serving with the wonderful Sisters in our zone! I am so grateful to have opportunities so often to learn from their examples, they are all amazing, fun, consecrated missionaries! :)

We went on a hike with the Thompsons, they are amazing!

On exchanges with Sister Herrera earlier this week we met so many awesome people and she taught me a lot about following promptings and seizing the moment! We hadn't been able to get in contact with one of our new investigators so we stopped by his house. When we had first met him we just talked on the porch briefly, so this time when he immediately invited us in it took me a little by surprise. His wife was home and we were able to sit down with both of them and teach them the whole first lesson. It felt as if we were coming for a scheduled appointment. The two of us just jumped right in and were very unified in our teaching even though we had only been together a few hours. It was so cool! 
Later that evening we were walking up to knock on a door right as someone was getting dropped off. Honestly, we were still far enough away that I kind of wanted to wait until they got inside and then knock.  But Sister Herrera is fearless. she ran across the street and their yard and said hi to them. But ended up scaring her half to death, but it was a good icebreaker haha. She was so cool and when we told her we had an important message to share with her she said, "ok, shoot" and was very engaged as we taught her about the Restoration. It was such a miracle that we were in the right places at just the right time :)

Ok, I have a super awesome story for you, that I will probably not do justice but here we go! Well earlier this week Sister Clark introduced me to Tasty Made shakes, which are pretty great. A few days later we went back for dinner...and I was pretty embarrassed when we were helped by the same cashier as a few days before, who also remembered us. Well while we were there we found a new friend in this cashier and he asked us if we could connect on Facebook! So of course we did and we now have the opportunity to teach him more about the restored gospel! He is amazing and I know it was no coincidence that we went to Tasty Made twice this last week..... so never question a prompting, even if it is telling you to go eat fast food :)

I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost, for His continual guidance. This promise from the scriptures means a lot to me,
"Go your way whithersoever I will, and it shall be given you by the Comforter what you shall do and whither you shall go" (Doctrine and Covenants 31:11)
As we seek to do the Lord's will, then we will always be given guidance of where we should go and the things that we are meant to do. The key is that it is the Lord's will.  It is not what we want or what we think is a good idea that is important, even if it would accomplish good things. The most success will be found as we follow the plan the Lord has set. I am grateful that we are able to receive direct inspiration from He who knows all, who loves perfectly and wants nothing more than our eternal happiness. As we follow those promptings and do what the Lord desires for us, we will find joy :)
Have a great week! And just keep smiling :)

Thursday, February 15, 2018

We Brought It With Us

Well,  this week I experienced frozen rain for the first time! Thankfully, it happened while we were sleeping but it looked really awesome when we woke up! And scraping the huge layer of ice off our car was really fun :)
We also did some fun maneuvers when we got stuck in the snow on the side of the road. We were very proud of ourselves when we got out all by ourselves :) We made quite the mess though haha.


Another first for my mission was walking a dog yesterday! There is a woman that we visit occasionally and she mentioned that her dog needed a walk but her health keeps her from getting out as much as she used to so we offered to walk her dog! It was so much fun :)
We had a really cool experience with one of the youth in our ward. Last Sunday we had a really awesome discussion about how we can help the youth. Well after that lesson we saw Sydney in the hall and we got to talk to her. It turns out she has a friend she would like us to meet! AND that she would really like to go out with us. So she spent part of an evening with us and it was so perfect! She received inspiration that day at school that she needed to share a specific personal experience and she did and was able to connect with our investigator on a personal level because of similar things they have faced in their lives. She bore such powerful testimony and it was such a tender experience. Youth are the best!

This week our District Leader received the inspiration that we should each study our Patriarchal blessing. In case you don't know what that is, it is the greatest thing ever! It is a blessing you receive that is very sacred and personal to you.  It is recorded and written down so you can study it throughout your life. It contains warnings, instruction, information about yourself and insight into how God sees you. It is basically the road map for your life. As I have been studying it I have been able to better understand who I am in God's eyes and who I am meant to become, which has given me such great strength. Part of the assignment has been to share some of those strengths we find in ourselves with our companion, and it was incredible how much the love and unity in our companionship grew after that exercise. As Sister Clark listed to me her divine strengths I noticed that all of them were things I already see in her. It made me realize that those divine attributes and qualities aren't something we are trying to attain in this life, but they were brought here with us. 
We were someone before we came here, and the purpose of this life is to choose to be that amazing individual again. Our responsibility here is to choose Jesus Christ and His ways in this life so that those qualities can be refined, so we can become who God intends for us to be.
I am so grateful for my knowledge of the Plan of Salvation, God's plan of happiness for His children. I am grateful for the trials and tests that I face in this life because it is evidence that I am ready for more growth. Every difficult thing we face, that is met with a righteous choice on our part, leads us one step closer to being the person God is anxiously guiding us to become!

I love you all, just keep smiling :)

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Happiness Is A Choice

THIS WEEK WAS AMAZING!!!! It was so FULL of miracles! But sadly I only have time for a few.

I went on exchanges with the amazing Sister Nielson this week! I love exchanges so much! It is so fun to get to spend time with so many other missionaries and we seem to always see crazy awesome miracles! The biggest miracle was probably that we saw everyone in our plans and had really great, meaningful contacts with all of them. That doesn't happen, ever, so we were very excited. We had a focus that day to use the Book of Mormon in every contact and the miracles from that were endless! The Book of Mormon will help us get nearer to God than any other book and I know that the people we talked to that day felt that. One man wasn't even interested in learning more himself, but because of the testimony we bore he recognized it was the word of God and could help people, so he is going to give it to someone who can use it. How awesome is that?!
Most of the miracles we experienced this week came from Facebook! I am so grateful for this amazing new tool that we have been given to reach so many more people. It is amazing how when we use this tool, guided by the spirit, we will be led to those prepared to receive the gospel. I have been directed to so many people this week who have posted questions and concerns that can be directly resolved by the Restoration, and others have seen my posts and because of their reactions we have been able to see who is open to the message we share. Because of our diligent efforts in trying to be more effective with this new tool, we have been blessed to make contact with so many prepared people, and have started teaching two of them! It truly amazes me how the work of the Lord is hastening in our day.

Honestly, this week has been a roller coaster of emotions. I have seen that the amount of stress experiences is proportional to the miracles and personal growth experienced as well, and this week was no exception. I am still getting used to my new role as a Sister Training Leader, but loving every minute of it. In life when we are given a hard task we could just sit down and wallow, wondering why me and accept that we are going to struggle, but I think it is amazing that in those moments if we look around we will see that God has given us resources that are always more numerous than the task ahead of us. I am so grateful that God has reminded me of my divine worth and potential in these unsure times for me. He reminds me of that every time I pray, read from the scriptures and choose to look outside of myself. He has also given me a wonderful companion who loves me and supports me. He has given me inspired leaders to guide me in the right direction, even though they may not know on a personal level how much I needed the counsel they gave. The resources are always infinitely more, I encourage each of you to look for them.
Theme for this week: 
*Happiness Is A Choice* 
That is something God has been trying to drill into my head this week, and unfortunately sometimes I am not the best listener. But we learn from out mistakes and keep on trying!  We can choose to be humble enough to accept the Lord's will and love it! That choice is the most important one I make in my day.

I hope you all have a wonderful week and when life gets you down, just keep smiling! Love you!